The drawings of Yumi

For one year, Japanese artist Yumi Kitagishi made an illustration every day and posted it on Instagram. Sometimes the illustrations were based around a theme, but often she also simply drew what she felt like that particular day. The 366 illustrations she created have been compiled into a book, called Little Stories of 366 Days. Here, Yumi tells us a little about her work.

Can you start by telling us a bit about yourself?
“I am a Tokyo-based illustrator. You can come across my work in exhibitions and I also collaborate with publishing houses and companies. I often draw characters like cats, owls, rabbits, girls with bobbed hair and men with mustaches.”

What are you working on at the moment?
“My first book, Little Stories of 366 Days, has just been published. It’s a collection of the illustrations that I drew over the period of a year—one a day—and posted on Instagram. When I started the project, I had no idea it would end up as a book, so it’s been a lovely surprise! I’m now working on a different project: illustrating on nails and giving ‘nail painting’ workshops. Oh, and my work is currently being featured in a group exhibition in Paris (at Klin d’Oeil).”

Can you explain this ‘nail painting’ workshop a little more?
“Usually, I paint an illustration on people’s nails, but at Klin d’Oeil in Paris, I prepared some tubes of paint and brushes, and explained to the visitors how it works so that they could do their nails by themselves. I really enjoyed seeing what people did; I found it very interesting.”

Where did you learn that?
“I’m entirely self-taught. I love drawing, and I draw on any blank space I can find. So one day, I l decided my nails were just a good a canvas as any. When I started, I soon realized that it’s just like drawing on paper. I haven’t studied anything specific about nail art; I simple learn a little more each day through trial and error, and the details get better all the time.”

Where do you find your inspiration?
“Mainly from children’s picture books. I love the bright colors you find in them! And from the fairy-tale books of my childhood. But I also find pleasure in my daily life, like eating delicious food, chatting with my friends and family, and coming across cute cats in my neighborhood.”

  • Would you like to see more of Yumi? You can follow her on Instagram.